It was May 14, 1994 and I was sitting two rows behind Roxanne, a female friend from my alma mater Georgetown University, along with a woman that I didn’t recognize. Little did I know the person Roxanne was sitting next to would change my life forever. As a single man when you attend a wedding, your adrenaline pumps a little in anticipation that you might meet someone new or at least hook-up for the evening. But from the outset, I got the sense that she was going to be different. I could only see her from behind, but she had on a simple, elegant, backless black dress with black pumps. She had beautiful athletic looking legs, and petite shoulders. I couldn’t keep my eyes of her the entire wedding ceremony. When she finally turned around, I almost fell off my chair. Feeling a little embarrassed, I took a look around to make sure that no one saw me. It was at that moment, that I spent the rest of the ceremony focused on how I would get to chance to speak to her during the reception, or get her a drink or ask her to dance.
A recent study about love at first sight, it stated that in the US, men and women between the ages of 35 to 44 are more likely to believe in it, than men and women aged 18 to 24. It’s understandable because nowadays it’s scary to believe that this could really happen. With the age of social media it’s much easier to meet so many different people from different backgrounds. It forces you to be hesitant and take your time, so you don’t make a mistake. People today wonder, “Am I really going to put all my eggs in one basket?” “Can I really trust my love at first sight moment as something that is real?”
At the moment nothing really matters!
During the wedding ceremony, nothing else mattered to me, not the vows, what the bride and groom were wearing, or how what I was going to be drinking that evening. My only concern was how I was going to get the opportunity to speak to this woman. I wanted to find out what she was about. Did her personality match the overall energy that I was feeling just from seeing her? How could I convince her that I was worth talking to? I didn’t even care that I had a date, Victoria, with me. We had dated in the past, but at that time we were just casual friends. I knew that I was breaking an unwritten code of conduct, but Vickie never complained because she knew that look in my eye. She had seen something similar years earlier.
It was at that point, I had found out her identity. When I finally got to our dinner table, she was there right across from me. Her name was Priscilla. She was a woman I had unintentionally insulted, before I got a chance to know her. I won’t go into the details, but I had characterized her to my friend Roxanne because every time I came to visit she was never around. And it was at that time, she didn’t match the words I had labeled her. When I finally introduced myself to her, I first humbled myself and apologized hoping that wouldn’t ruin any chance at conversation. By some twist of fate, I would get my chance to speak to her more intimately since she had decided to move right next to me to avoid some conflict that was on her side of the table. As we continued to talk, dance and laugh, I was awestruck on how easy she was to talk to. It was nice to share some personal things about myself. The conversation flowed so nicely it was as if we had known each other for years.
When what you are praying for is answered.
The evening up to that point was perfect. So perfect, that I had to look up to the sky and chuckle a little because it was at that moment God was showing me the blessing he had provided. I just had to make sure I didn’t mess things up. Up to that point, I hadn’t been too successful in the dating department. Most of my relationships had never lasted any longer than a year for a myriad of reasons. I was either, too black, or too white. Not cool enough, or not tall enough. Or they just couldn’t put their finger on why I wasn’t worth spending time with, I just wasn’t.
When you carry around baggage of past relationships, and finally the person you are destined to be with is laid before your feet, we usually will find ways to mess it up, until we decide to trust and just go with it. So, I was smart enough to realize that this point in time was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I was going to allow the evening to takes it course. Priscilla was everything I had literally asked for. She was beautiful, but not overdone. She was funny, but not obnoxious. Based on our conversations throughout the night, I could tell she was caring and very reserved. From an external perspective, she had two qualities that I considered were the most important on my list; she had beautiful, soft hands, and a killer smile.
When you don’t want the night to end.
Before I knew it the wedding and reception was over. It was time to say good-bye. I couldn’t let this night end with the standard line, “How about I call you so we can get together.” I had to figure out how I could extend this evening if only for a few minutes more. So I asked after I dropped off my friend, could I come back and talk to her some more.” With a gentle smile and soft kiss on the cheek, her words echoed through my mind, “It’s been a long day and I am leaving early in the morning, but call me tomorrow.”
When your missteps of your past relationships suddenly turn into stepping stones to the person you will spend the rest of your life with.
As I walked out the door, wishing I could time travel to the next day already, I was suddenly thankful that the missteps of my past relationships had suddenly turned into the stepping stones I needed to walk to the person I would spend the rest of my life with. I was able to be myself, and for the first time I had found the one person that would love me just for who I was. A person, that loved to have fun, was sensitive, love sports, but wouldn’t be dunking a basketball anytime soon.
It’s been 18 years 3 kids and a dog since I put all my eggs in one basket and I am blessed that I did.